On Saturday, March 1 the Grand Rapids Press ran a front-page story entitled “Is NAFTA not so bad for us?” This story is very typical of how this issue has been reported on for years. The main issue in the article whether or not the North American Free Trade Agreement has been “good” or “bad,” not who has benefited and who has suffered.
The article cites four people who think NAFTA has been a good policy and only one that thinks it has been bad. Of the four pro-NAFTA sources, two are with area corporations, one with the US Department of Commerce, and one is with the Michigan District Export Council West. One of these sources claims, “Conditions for some Mexican workers and their plants’ environment are improving because socially conscious corporations are demanding it.” This claim is never verified by the reporter, nor are any other claims made by sources in the story. The only anti-NAFTA perspective is a local UAW union representative, but her comments are clouded because she says that the UAW endorsed the Peru Trade Agreement.
The story is oversimplified since it only explores job creation and job loss. There is no discussion about environmental issues, immigration or quality of life issues. Lastly, there are no real independent perspectives presented nor reference to the tremendous amount of research that has documented the impact that NAFTA has had on the US, Mexico, and Canada for thirteen years.
We urge you to write to the Grand Rapids Press and demand better coverage on such a crucial issue.
Send a letter to News Editor Andy Angelo:
READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
MORE ON NAFTA:
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW THE LOCAL MEDIA HAS PRAISED NAFTA: